What is the cat’s claw and what is it for?
Cat’s claw is the name that is popularly used, and even commercially and medicinally, for the Uncaria tomentosa plant. The name is taken from the small nail-shaped stems that appear under the main or larger leaves of the plant.
This plant, originally from the Peruvian Amazon, has always been used by the natives of the region for its properties and health benefits.
It serves to treat a lot of disparate ailments and to soothe the pains of the aggressive treatment of chronic diseases.
Cat’s claw: properties and benefits
The cat’s claw plant brings great health benefits thanks to its medicinal properties. Among these benefits we can highlight:
Cat’s claw is a powerful anti-inflammatory, and that is why it is used to treat all kinds of inflammations both external and internal of the organism. For example, in toothaches, menstrual pains, as well as inflammation of the joints in internal inflammations or also in external wounds of the skin.
Strengthens the immune system
The antimutagenic properties of the cat’s claw plant have proven very effective in strengthening, improving and maintaining the immune system, as well as avoiding diseases and resisting different climatic conditions without getting sick.
For this same fact, it is used in patients with serious problems related to immune deficiency or who are undergoing treatments that may be aggressive (chemotherapy, radiotherapy, etc.).
At the same time, one of the alkaloids that contain cat’s claw, the most important and in more quantity, since it contains a total of 7 alkaloids, is Isopteropodin, which contributes to improving the immune system and combating radicals free that deteriorate cells.
This plant is very useful for treating problems related to all types of allergies.
Cat’s claw is used to treat digestive problems such as gastritis, stomach ulcers, and diarrhea.
This plant is powerful healing. In addition to its anti-inflammatory effect, it is very useful for treating small wounds, such as scratches, scrapes, superficial burns, cuts and so on.
Cat’s claw and cancer
The use of cat’s claw in cancer patients has been extended because this plant strengthens the immune system, often weakened either by the disease itself or by aggressive and often inevitable, treatments that afflict the patient.
Being a powerful anti-inflammatory, it helps reduce the chronic pain of patients in these cases.
How to take cat’s claw: capsules and infusions
Cat’s claw, although usually found in capsules, can also be taken as an infusion.
The capsules usually include the dose in the leaflet, which is usually recommended as follows: two 2 capsules in the morning with breakfast or the first meal we make, and 2 at night, with dinner or last meal of the day.
Sometimes the powder is also marketed, which is what is inside the capsules. They can also be found in tinctures.
The daily amount ranges between 20 and 60 mg, depending on the treatment.
Prepare cat’s claw infusion
To prepare the infusion of the cat’s claw, just one teaspoon of dried grass is enough for each cup of hot water. Water is added and allowed to stand covered for 8 to 10 minutes. You can drink two cups per day.
Side effects and contraindications of cat’s claw
Cat’s claw does not have large contraindications or side effects but is a very effective and potent medicinal plant, it should be taken into account that there is always a risk.
In the case of contraindications of cat’s claw, it has sometimes been shown to cause stomach aches, or even diarrhea, as well as some kidney complications. But there is not enough data that these possible side effects occur regularly to keep them in mind.
Of course, people with peptic ulcers and gastritis should avoid the cat’s claw.
As always, consult a specialist or your doctor before beginning any treatment.
Interactions of the cat’s claw with other medications can alter the effects of this plant.
For example, antihistamines and antacids could reduce the absorption of alkaloids present in the cat’s claw.